Chapter 5

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

I’ll start with the conclusion. It was true that Dante was really good at anything.

 

I was underestimating Dante’s confidence, and Dante knew I was underestimating himself. Now that I think about it, it seems like he was more determined.

 

To be honest, I want to give him a compliment. I think it’s been decades since I’ve been embarrassed with a little exaggeration.

 

“I’ve never seen you before. Are you Miss’ lover?”

 

About two weeks after Dante declared that he would ‘behave naturally’, we had a chance to visit the village for a while. It was because I had to finish the chores that I received every month and bring them.

 

I got a lot of money thanks to Dante, so it wasn’t necessary, you asked? In fact, that’s why, it’s the same as how I got it. Because working as a hobby without worrying about money is the most fun.

 

Even when he was told that I could go alone, Dante insisted and followed me. And again, one of the villagers had been kind enough to say it.

 

Even while I replied, “Yes, he’s my lover,” I expected Dante to be shy again. That too, if your body moves the way you want to, would that be a person?

 

But it seems that Dante wasn’t human.

 

“We’ve been dating for about two months.”

 

Having said that, he wrapped his hand around my shoulder without showing any sign of embarrassment.

 

Between the villagers who said it was good to see and Dante who thanked them for being nice to us, I had to overcome the embarrassment I had felt in a long time. Where did the shy boy who was a little naive go?

 

And perhaps noticing my condition, Dante said with a smile on the way home.

 

“I said I’m good at everything, didn’t I?”

 

Yeah, you were good.

 

There aren’t many people I’ve recognized for their acting skills, so when I told him to know it as an honor, Dante laughed out loud.

 

In the meantime, I could see his face red, so I thought he was still embarrassed.

 

From the day after I admitted that Dante was handsome, Dante started to get weird.

 

In fact, if you ask me whether it’s true that he has been weird since that day, or if there have been signs from the past, I have nothing to say. I haven’t been watching Dante closely in the first place, so how am I supposed to notice his signs?

 

However, it is also true that Dante’s change feels more dramatic. Just like a person who discovered stones that had been piled up every day only after it became a huge tower.

 

What’s strange is, for example, something like this.

 

“I want to go for a walk in the forest.”

 

It seems that his body is getting better, so Dante often went out for a walk. As it was a simple walk, he didn’t go out for a long time, and even if it was long, I didn’t care, so all I did was greet him.

 

“Sure, go and come back.”

 

I waved my hand to say goodbye, yet Dante didn’t go out and just stood there. He also looked at me intently.

 

After asking if I had forgotten anything, Dante replied in a light tone.

 

“We’re not going together?”

 

“…? Why would I go together with you?”

 

If I say this, he’ll make a subtle expression.

 

“That’s right?”

 

“Don’t say anything weird and just leave quickly and come back.”

 

Like this. It’s Dante who said things he couldn’t understand, but instead he asked me why he was doing it. Are you saying you don’t even know your own heart? Is it puberty or something.

 

Besides, as I just asked him to go out with me, he was treating me like someone he should hang out with everywhere. It’s like a little kid who made a best friend.

 

It’s not like we’re close either.

 

“…?”

 

Isn’t it? Did we become close? As I was thinking about ‘what is close’ to such a grandiose level, I thought that I was more like a child.

 

Actually, considering how Dante behaved in the beginning, it was true that we got close to a certain extent. For less than a month since he’d been in this house, he was rude.

 

I remember Dante speaking softly on the day he came to his senses, when he asked me if he could stay at my house. After that, it wasn’t a sudden change, but he suddenly spoke firmly, so it was a bit ridiculous.

 

Then he looked to be waiting to leave this place, preoccupied with other thoughts—perhaps about the people who were chasing him. He found it frustrating to spend most of the day in bed, and he kept his replies short, making him look like someone who didn’t want to talk.

 

His cold tone was an added bonus, enough to make me cringe just by listening to it.

 

[It’s dinner time. Would you like to eat something?]

[…No need.]

[Well, it’s better to eat when you have someone taking care of you.]

[…]

 

Well, even that didn’t work for me.

 

It didn’t take long for me to understand that “No need,” means “I won’t eat because you don’t eat either.” Because, at some point, Dante started speaking like a human being. It seems that answering in a semi-threatening manner had an effect.

 

And by the time we got used to each other’s presence, Dante stopped sharpening his blade and began to show an increasingly gentle demeanor.

 

He’s still very shy, yet when there are other people, he hides it cleanly.

 

If I had to list the changes in Dante’s state… It can be summed up as being rude, then becoming a little more docile and feeling very shy, and then suddenly becoming strange.

 

I couldn’t say anything because he looked really confused while asking about his condition. When I asked, “What’s wrong with you these days?”, it was obvious that he would answer again, “Right?”

 

The more I talk about it, the more it feels like Dante’s condition is getting mysterious…

 

When I realized that my thoughts weren’t making any progress, all of a sudden everything started to bother me. Even if I could draw my own conclusions, I wouldn’t be able to do anything, so what am I wasting my time on?

 

Above all, it’s not good to think about Dante like this whenever I have time. For me, and for Dante too.

 

I shook my head roughly to let my thoughts go. I decided to stop thinking about Dante and focus on something else. So that my branch of thought doesn’t extend further.

 

And the moment when I learned why Dante has become strange came unexpectedly.

 

***

 

That night was particularly boring. I wasn’t attracted to reading alone, but I didn’t want to go to bed early.

 

It was for this reason that I originally sat across the bed and looked outside the door when I was spacing out.

 

Since there was only one bed in my small house, Dante slept on the sofa in the living room when he was able to move. When I was alone, it was the sofa I used to lie down on, but when Dante tried to use it, it looked so cramped.

 

In fact, Dante would sleep either sitting or lying sideways. Although it looks uncomfortable, my bed was too small for two people, so there was nothing we could do.

 

More than anything, Dante was so pissed off. It must have been my own misunderstanding to feel that we could share a bed together now that we became close.

 

In fact, as I opened the door and went out into the living room, I didn’t expect Dante to be awake. Even though it looks like he has gotten better than when he first came, seeing him staying at my house makes me feel like he’s definitely a patient.

 

I looked around the living room, thinking I would see him sleeping, but surprisingly, Dante was awake with no sign of sleep.

 

Dante raised his head at the sound of the door opening. The purple earrings swayed briefly as he nodded his head, then shimmered for a moment as they reflected in the light of the lanterns.

 

Perhaps because it was night, a calm, subdued face stared at me. Dante’s face, the book he was holding, and the lanterns illuminating just around him flickered and made shallow traces.

 

Whether it was because I had never seen Dante at night, or because Dante hardened as soon as my eyes met, I had to seize the feeling of encountering a work of art in an unfamiliar place for a brief moment.

 

Of course, the person in front of me wasn’t a work of art, but a living person.

 

Before that fact gave me an unfamiliar feeling, I cut off my appreciation and closed the door.

 

As soon as our eyes met anyway, I approached Dante, yet every time I took my foot off, Dante hesitated and stood up.

 

It was as if he had seen someone he couldn’t see, so I was the one who started to wonder. Why is he so surprised? I’m the owner of the house.

 

Dante looked at me and said nothing, so I spoke first.

 

“You’re not sleeping? It’s late already, though.”

 

“Then what about you. What are you doing, not sleeping?”

 

“I usually don’t sleep at this hour. You should go to sleep soon, the sick one.”

 

“Me too… No, I’ll sleep after a little bit more.”

 

“Mm.”

 

I stopped talking for a moment and pondered. I think he’s going to fall asleep right away, seeing how many pages are left in the book he was holding, but… Yeah, I’m too bored to say good night.

 

The worries were brief. I’m not forcing him to wake me up though, well.

 

I asked him to wait for a while and came out of the room with a book.

 

“Can I sit next to you until I fall asleep? If you want to sleep, I’ll go right in.”

 

“…Yeah.”

 

I estimated how much I could read while looking at Dante, who calmly gave me a seat next to him. I said I’m going to sleep soon, so maybe it’s better to just read one chapter, right?

 

But considering he said that he would sleep after a little while, Dante read the book for quite some time.

 

Near the end of the book I had been reading—it was probably a worth reading novel—Dante suddenly opened his mouth.

 

“I think you’re very unusual.”

 

“What is?”

 

I was quietly reading a book, so why is he saying I’m unusual? When I looked at him curiously, Dante, whose eyes were still fixed on a book, continued as if he was muttering.

 

“You sleep late at night and wake up early.”

 

“Really? Aren’t there a lot of people like this?”

 

“Not at all.”

 

What is it, he has never seen a person who slept poorly. I turned my eyes and said belatedly, “Aaah.” I think I know what Dante was referring as unusual

 

This world didn’t yet have a plausible light. It is said that nobles spend a lot of money to light their lamps with magic, but commoners still depended on candles or lanterns. When it gets dark, there aren’t many means to turn on the lights, so it was only natural that fewer people were awake late at night.

 

Yet I was always awake until late. With a light just enough to light a table in front of me, I didn’t fall asleep early, although I was rather dazed.

 

It’s not like I’m doing anything plausible at night either, so it must have been surprising to Dante, who lives with me.

 

But I couldn’t help it. Before shifting dimensions, it was dark, so I didn’t live in the place I went to sleep naturally. What should I do about going to bed late becoming a habit? Originally, the habit of a 3-year-old lasts until they become 80.

 

Even with that thought, I made up an expression that seemed to know nothing at all.

 

“I just like to sleep late. And the night is quieter than the morning.”

 

“It is true that the night is quieter than the morning, but after that, you wake up early in the morning.”

 

“That’s…”

 

A shy voice came out of its own accord.

 

“As I get older, I strangely sleep less…”

 

“…”

 

I could see Dante glancing like a fool at my words. Why, what is it? I mean it.

 

“You’re not even old enough to say that.”

 

“Hey, how do you know my age? How would you know if I’m older than I look?”

 

And it was true that I was actually older than I looked. About 100 years.

 

No, is it really 100 years? Didn’t I age more than that?

 

Dante’s voice was heard as my thoughts quickly drifted to another place.

 

“Why, how old are you, though?”

 

The moment I heard that question, I suddenly came to my senses.

 

I didn’t answer, just looked at Dante’s side face. He pretended not to be curious about it, as if it was a flowing question, but his hand turning the page stopped in one place.

 

Even if he tries to hide it, it’s obvious, so should I be honest or naive?

 

Without realizing it, there was a smile in my voice.

 

“Are you curious about how old I am?”

 

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Comments (3)

  1. Ohhhh this is really interesting!! Keep up the good work!!!

  2. Wow I seriously like this book, a hidden gem among all the copy paste romances ✪ ω ✪